The trip gave me a perspective on another culture that we do not get without traveling. Seeing sights is fun but the student exchange gets you closer to the real culture. We would do everyday things with local families that brought the experience home for me. We slept on tatami mats on the floor rather than in western style beds. We shopped at local markets and ate local foods with neighbors. We caught a glimpse of how life was for local Japanese families. The more people I meet that have not traveled, the more I value my BSA experience.

It has given me a global perspective. It is hard to be too nationalistic when you actually know people from other countries. I gained a respect for another culture and consider them in my world view.

I would highly recommend this experience for another student. It will be fun and it will open your eyes and heart to other nations and people. It is an opportunity you may not get later in life as you pursue a career. Traveling to Japan as a tourist later in life is not the same as experiencing the country first hand with other students from Sakai and Berkeley. I would encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity as a student.